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Frequently asked questions

About the event in general:

I am an average tourist. I haven’t done any long trek yet (50km, 100km or more non-stop). Am I able to complete the route of this race?

Big Bear’s Ultra is not a regular tourist trek, it is an ultra trail run. The route and the route profile is very difficult. Each participant must carefully consider whether he/she is physically and mentally capable to complete a very difficult event route in mountainous environment


Is the route marked with event marking ?

Partially. Own event marking is not allowed within the boundaries of National park Malá Fatra. Organizer assumes that participants can navigate the mountain terrain following the GPS track, existing trail markings and route description. Volunteers may be placed at the critical junctions. Outside of National Park area the route will be marked with event marking. In the protected area of Strážovské vrchy the marking will be limited to junctions and places where there is a potential for taking wrong turns.

Organizer can’t guarantee that route markings will not be removed by wind, rain, random passers etc …


Can I have my own support along the route (food, change of clothes etc.)? Can a friend run with me so that I am not alone?

No. This sort of support is not allowed to keep the race fair for everyone. Organizer provides refreshments at the designated check points and on the BBU100+ route there is also a drop bag option at Strečno CP.

A friend can only run with you if he/she is also a registered participant in the race. Otherwise it will be considered as an illegal support and result in penalty (DSQ).


Are poles allowed?

Yes. If you decide to use the poles on the BBU100+ route you can carry them with you the whole time or start with them and drop them at the drop bag or start without them and pick them from your drop bag. Other than these 2 places it is not allowed to pick or drop the poles anywhere else along the route. On BBU60+, BBU20 and relays you have to carry the poles with you the whole time if you decide to run with them.


Is the transport of bags from start to finish and to and from drop bag provided?

Yes. Organizer arranges transport of bags from start to finish (for BBU60+ route) – only personal things the participants will not carry with them during the race – as well as drop bag service for BBU100+ participants – transport of bags to and from Strečno CP.


Is it allowed to run with a dog (dogtrekking)?

No. Running with a dog is not allowed and will result in disqualification or the participant (DSQ).


There are refreshments stations on the route. Why do I have to carry own food reserve?

The event is organized as a semi-autonomous event. Refreshment stations are not at every kilometer of the route and you have to be self sufficient in between the stations. You also have to be self sufficient in case of problems or an injury. You must have enough own energy reserves until help arrives.


What food should I take with me and how much ?

Take whatever you like, what you usually eat during your sport activities but at least you have to carry what is required in the mandatory gear. Each person has own preferences and should know his/her own needs.


If I use up my food reserves can I refill it from the refreshment stations to have with me the required minimum reserve ?

Yes, for sure! You can take anything from the refreshment stations before continuing with your race except cans or bottles with drinks. Be careful though and do not litter on the route. All the waste, packaging etc keep with yourself and then dispose of them in the bins at the next check point.


What will be provided at refreshment points?

Range of refreshments will include:
Drinks (water, sports and energy drinks, cola, tea, coffee, non alcoholic beer etc.)
Supplements (salts, sugar, magnesium etc.)
Solid food (energy bars, cereal bars, sweet or savoury cakes, chocolates, crackers and chips, cheese, salame, lardons, bread with lard or nutella etc.)
Warm meals (pasta, soup)
Detailed info about what refreshments will be available at what stations will be published before the event.

Mandatory and recommended gear


Is the mandatory gear really mandatory?

Yes. You must carry the mandatory gear with you (wear it or carry it in your backpack) during the entire duration of your race.


Will the mandatory gear checked ? If yes when ?

Yes. Mandatory gear is checked at the check-in and can be controlled also during the event at any check point or randomly anywhere on the route. It is your duty to have the mandatory gear with you during the entire duration of your race. Mandatory gear can also be checked at the finish.


Is the mandatory gear requirement same for all the routes ?

Basic mandatory gear (see 2.6.1 of the rules) is same for routes BBU100+ and BBU60+ including the possible alternative mandatory gear vrátane možnej alternatívnej povinnej výbavy (see 2.6.2 and 2.6.3 of the rules), if not specified otherwise. The decision about the need for the alternative mandatory gear is made by the race director and informs the participants sufficiently in advance ahead of the event. There is no mandatory gear for BBU20 route.


What do I risk if I do not carry with me complete mandatory gear?

The volunteers appointed by the organizer perform the mandatory gear check. In case of missing the essential safety gear – water reserve 1 liter, mobile phone switched on, missing jacket, survival blanket, headlamp – immediate disqulaification (DSQ). In case of other missing gear 1 hour penalty will be applied for each missing item as everyone who runs without mandatory gear runs with lighter backpack and gains an unfair advantage over the runners that stick to the rules.
If you are missing mandatory gear you are risking disqualification even at the gear check after crossing the finish line!


Mobile phone

Why do I need to have a phone with me and why it has be turned on?

Organizer must be able to contact you at any circumstances including at any time before, during and after the conclusion of the event, especially in the case of adverse weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances.


Can my phone be in an airplane mode?

A phone in an airplane mode is not considered a phone turned on because the organizer would not be able to contact you. You are risking disqualification!


I have changed my phone umber, what should I do to amend my contact info?

You can inform us about the change at or at the pre race check-in.


Can I charge my phone during the event?

Of course yes, but only using your own power bank / charging device. There will not be any charging stations available at the check points. We strongly reccomend to minimize the mobile phone use during the race, to deactivate all non essential applications and services to save the battery life. If you know that your phone battery can’t last the whole duration of the event or you are not sure it could last we strongly recommend to carry with you a power bank / a charger and the necessary charging cable in order to be able to charge your phone.
A phone with an empty battery is not considered to be a phone turned on and you are risking disqualification.


Other useful suggestions?

Please save on your phone the numbers of organizer and the emergency numbers:
Nearest checkpoint covered with volunteers from Mountain services (HS) (phone contacts are in the route description each participants receives)
NONSTOP hotline of Mountain rescue service (HZS) – phone 18300 (toll free number)
– Mountain rescue service centre (Stredisko HZS) Malá Fatra – Vrátna: phone no. +421 (0)903 624 028 / +421 (0)41 569 5232
Emergency services hotline: phone no 112 (toll free number)


Own cup min 1.5 dl (except the water bottle)

What is the cup for?

To minimize waste the event will be without single use cups. Each participant must have his / her own cup with minimum capacity 1.5d for water and other drinks at the refreshment stations.


Can I use not a common cup – like a cut out from the milk or juice carton (tetrapak)?

It is acceptable, some participants go for this light and compact simple solution. It is necessary though to make sure the bottom of the cup can last the whole duration of the event and would not fall apart. Without a working cup you will not be able to enjoy the drinks… Organizer will not provide any single use cups.


Water reserve min. 1 liter

Why I need to have 1 liter of water reserve?

The event is organized as a semi-autonomous event. Refreshment stations are not at every kilometer of the route and you have to be self sufficient in between the stations. You also have to be self sufficient in case of problems or an injury. You must have enough own energy reserves until help arrives.

Two headlamps / torches with spare batteries for both

Why 2 headlamps are require? Isn’t 1 enough?

No, one headlamp is not enough. You must have a back up one in case your primary headlamp gets damaged or stops functioning. The requirement for 2 headlamps is for BBU100+ only. One headlamp with spare batteries is also mandatory for BBU60+ participants as they also can finish their race in the dark. They also may need the second headlamp but the decision whether to take it or not is up to them. We recommend it though.


Do I need spare batteries for both headlamps or torches?



Can I dispose the used batteries at the check points?

Yes. Each check point will have a designated container for used batteries. If you can’t find ask the volunteers.


Survival blanket min. 1.4 x 2 m

How useful is the survival blanket if there are first aid points along the route?

Survival blanket offers the protection from cold, heat, rain, humidity, rain in case of any issues or injury on the route while you wait for some assistance.


How should I correctly use the survival blanket?

The sides of the blanket are different. Usually one side is gold and the other silver. If the golden surface faces outside it protects from cold. If the golden side faces inside it protects from heat (because the silver side reflects the sun rays. To achieve the desired effect the blanket must completely cover the body. Even a small gap allows the wind to enter and the blanket may become useless. The blanket is usually only possible to use once. Please follow the instruction that come with your blanket.



Why do I have to have a whistle?

A whistle is useful if you get lost. You may be only few meters from the trail but noone can see you. The sound of the whistle can be heard better than sound of human voice. People or other participants can hear you and come to your help. A whistle can also be useful if you get lost in a thick fog or as a prevention wildlife encounter.


Elastic bandage (min. 100 x 6 cm)

What is it for?

If you get injured and you are on your own, without phone coverage, an elastic bandage application on injured knee, ankle or ligament can be the only way how you can be able to make it to the nearest rescue site.


Jacket with hood waterproof recommended min. 10,000 Schmerber and breathable RET inferior = 13.

What is the meaning of “Schmerber” and “RET”?

Index Schmerber measures water resistance of the fabric. 1 Schmerber = 1 mm water column = 0.1 mbar. Index RET (Resistance Evaporation Transfer) measures the ability of the fabric to let the moisture generated by the body (sweat) evaporate. RET is the sign of the resistance, the smaller the RET the more the fabric breathes.


The label on may jacket says 5, 000 Schmerber. You recommend at least 10,000 Schmerber. Will my jacket pass the gear check?

In theory it can, your jacket may satisfy the mandatory gear requirements. But in adverse weather this jacket may not offer sufficient protection against rain lasting the whole duration of the race. (15 – 32 hours).


Is there a list of jackets that meet the requirements?

No, there are way too many jackets on the market.


Cap, hat, scarf or bandana

What should I have?

You need some head cover that can protect your head against heat, sun or cold.


Bear bell

Is a bear bell necessary?

The race route passes through the territory of brown bear and other wildlife. You will pass some of these areas after sunset (Lúčanská Malá Fatra, Strážovské vrchy). Bear bell is one of the ways how you announce your presence and helps to avoid mutually undesired encounters.